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Umeå is a Swedish university city with an exuberant nightlife. This is, however, not the only reason for tourists to visit the city. Umeå is surrounded by lakes, with Nydalasjön probably being the nicest. Around the lake a recreational area was created, popular in summer and winter months, when you can skate on the lake.
The city has approximately 110,000 inhabitants.
Umeå is located on the Gulf of Bothnia in the north of Sweden, on the Ume River. This river discharges a bit further south into the Österfjärden, where the city of Holmsund is located, Umeå's port. The city lies about 600 kilometers north of the Swedish capital Stockholm and 400 kilometers south of the polar circle.
In Umeå it's all about higher education. Almost one third of the inhabitants are students. There are two universities and several other institutions for higher education. Technical and medical research institutes, as well as the largest medical center of northern Sweden, are related to these institutions. Holmsund's port also plays a role in the import and export of agricultural and forestry products from the hinterland and the transportation of passengers.
Umeå Airport is situated on the verge of the city, about 5 kilometers from the center. It's easily reachable by rental car via the E4, which runs straight across the city. The way to the airport is clearly signposted.
City transport in Umeå is exploited by Västerbottens Lokaltrafik. City buses run frequently and night buses run during weekends (Friday and Saturday nights). There are also excellent connections with other places in northern Sweden, including Sundsvall and Luleå and there are long-distance buses to the capital Stockholm. There are ferry connections with Vaasa in Finland from Holmsund's port.
In Umeå's center you need to pay for street parking. The city is divided into zones: the closer to the center, the higher the parking rates. There are several garages where you can safely (and in winter clear of snow) park your rental car. If you want to explore the inland, watch out for elks suddenly crossing the road, especially around sunset.
Umeå has a good choice of accommodations. Being a university city there's no shortage of youth hostels and budget guesthouses, but there are also midrange hotels and some hotels in the more luxurious category, mainly near the river. On the north side of the beautiful lake Nydalasjön, east of town, lies a popular campsite, First Camp.
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